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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Adelaide Festival 1980

Tall Poppies TP175



  1. Rolling Thunder
  2. Cyber Herod
  3. Listen to the Song of Life
  4. Bells
  5. Offering
  6. Bindo

Dale Barlow - Flute, Alto, Tenor
Roger Brampton - Piano
Bruce Cale - Bass
Phil Treloar - Drums
Recorded Live at the Adelaide Festival of Arts, 1980.
All compositions by Bruce Cale, except Offering which was written by Roger Bramton.

If someone had played me a track from this CD in a blindfold test, I would have been sure that this was an American band, which is still the highest complement you can pay to any jazz ensemble. It is a of course an Australian Group of very talented musicians who are as good as anything contemporary music has to offer. They have all studied in the US however, at the feet of the good and the great and no doubt this has helped them to reach an extraordinary level both in composition and performance. The recording was made at the end of a week long residency, which never fails to improve the performance of any outfit, although in jazz it rarely happens. Despite the excellence of these musicians, try as I might I canít get to like free jazz. It lacks warmth and whilst I am amazed at the ability of all concerned, to me it lacks some of the essence of true jazz. For contemporary music fans, it is a must and none would guess it was recorded 25 years ago.

Roger Brampton the pianist on this set is no longer with us, he died of a brain tumour in 1999. The world is certainly poorer because of that, he has enormous talent. Dale Barlow is an outstanding saxophone player, I would love to hear him play a set of Ďstandardsí so that I could understand more of what is going on. Bruce Cale is a fine Bass player who played in London early in his career with the Tubby Hayes Quartet.

Drummer Phil Treloar swings like man when he has a mind but free jazz does not like too much of that.

Another part of this record which is a joy is the sleeve notes, written by the musicians concerned and both interesting and informative, many major labels should note that it is not so difficult to produce a worthwhile sleeve note!

To summarise, if free jazz is your thing, this is a must. If you like to hear four excellent musicians collectively improvising the same applies, but if you like your jazz a bit nearer the original idea, itís probably not for you.
Don Mather


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